Ask God to guide you so that you'll be doing what He wants you to do and saying what He wants you to say.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Well, I trust everything’s okay at your house. I’ve just been praying that God may put His love and His truth and His blessing into my voice. We can’t see each other and that’s probably a good thing sometimes, but we certainly can tell by the sound of a person’s voice what’s going on. And I just want God to be in every word that I say to you so there’d be something especially helpful for you in our thought from His Word.
I’m trying to hit the high spots in recapping some of the precious truths that we got out of 1 Timothy before we go along to some other portion of truth. In chapter four, 1 Timothy, there’s a passage there that always strikes me with great force, he says, “For bodily exercise profiteth a little but Godliness is profitable unto all things. Exercise thyself rather unto Godliness.” Work at the quality of God in your life.
Now many of us feel of course that all you have to do is pray and then you’ll be a Godly person. It doesn’t turn out that way, sadly enough. There’s many a pious praying person who is awfully hard to get along with, have you discovered that? To live above with saints we love that or that will sure be glory. To live below with saints we know is quite a different story. I found that some of the most spiritual people in the world were awfully hard to get along with. Why is that? Well, because Godliness is something at which you have to work.
Godliness is the quality of God in everyday living. In your relationships with wife and husband and children and parents. In your relationship with teachers and students and staff and administrators. In your relationship with suppliers and clients and professional people and law enforcement officers and auditors and salesmen and customers and neighbors. In your relationships with people in traffic, people whom you never have seen before and may never see again, but in that fleeting instant when you’re blowing your horn hard at them and giving them a scowl, I wonder what kind of an image they get of what a Christian is like.
“Work,” said he. “Exercise yourself at Godliness. Work at being Godly.” How do you do this?
Well, in the outset, Godliness has to do with a Person and you. God is a Person and Godliness is short for God likeness. And so if you’re going to be anything like the Person whom you worship, that means you have to spend some time with Him. And so we do come back, don’t we?
To this matter of your own personal devotional time. I’m amazed at how little most people pray, I took a sense as I do this every now and again, in meetings and ask how many of you think you prayed as much as an hour today? Very few I think one or two out of a large crowd. I said how many of you think you prayed as much as half hour today? Well, a few more. How many of you think you prayed as much as a quarter of an hour? Well, a few more than that. How many of you think you prayed as much as five minutes? Well, quite a few. And I said how many of you didn’t do any praying at all aside from saying grace over your meals? There were a lot of people who looked a little embarrassed I must say when they admitted that they hadn’t prayed at all.
We name the name of Christ. Well, we don’t pay Him much attention unless we get in a jam and have to pray, “Lord, help me out of this situation.” If you wanna be Godly, you have to work at it. Where does that start? Spend some time with your Lord. If you wanna be like him, you wanna spend time with Him. And you wanna listen to what He has to say to you in His Word. The Bible speaks to you, I can’t emphasize this too much. We’ve had a little reaction, I think, among some evangelicals who are afraid of what they call Bibliolatry, that is to say the worship of the Book itself. Well, we know better than that.
Jesus said, our blessed Lord said, “The words that I speak unto their spirit and their life, the entrance of Thy words giveth light. The Word of God abideth forever, liveth and abideth forever.” The Bible says, “Forever O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” The Bible speaks to you. All you have to do is read it and think about and it speaks to your heart and mind and conscience and will. If you want to be like your God, spend some time with Him in prayer and spend some time listening to Him as He speaks to you from His Word. And I can guarantee you that the Holy Spirit will apply some things to your heart and life and you’ll be acting and speaking differently as a result.
“Work,” said he, “at being Godly.” What else do you do? Well, if you’re gonna act like a person, you need to adopt his way of thinking and acting, and that means ask God to direct you in ordinary things. Pray about your driving, some of us could stand some answer to prayer in that department, couldn’t we? Pray about the details of your everyday life. I used to tell the students at the college, pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up, pray before you greet your roommate, pray before you start your first class, pray before you open a letter, certainly before you answer it. Pray before you answer the phone. Pray before you go on a date. Pray before you start a conversation, even if you’re just shooting the breeze with some of your friends. Idle talk it may well be, but if you pray, what you say will honor your blessed Lord.
Pray before you start an athletic contest, start a game. Pray before you stop to talk to a customer. Pray before you lay out your day if you’re a salesman. God can send you to the right people. Or if you’re a pastor, God can send you calling on the right members, or potential church members. Pray and ask God to direct you. Oh, He wants to do that. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him,” says the Bible, “and He shall direct thy paths. The Lord shall guide thee continually and make fat thy bones. Thou shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not.” God wants to guide you. He wants you to be successful. He wants you to have it right in your life, things going well in your life because God is running things. He wants to do that for you.
Godliness, work at it. What does it mean? Ask Him to direct you. Does God care where you have the car serviced? Yes, He does. Does God care where you buy your next suit? Yes, He does. Does God care what college you go to, or Bible institute, or Bible college, or university? Yes, He cares. Does God care who you date, or whom you marry? Yes, He cares. Does God have plans for you in these seemingly small inconsequential things, some of them? Yes, He’s got plans. Known unto God are all His works. He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God has plans for you.
I have to disagree with those who think that God started the universe and then leaves everyone of us to his own doings. There is a segment, I think, of evangelical thought that says don’t bother God with praying about little details. Go ahead and use your best judgement. No, no. I believe in using my best judgement, but in praying first before I start to make a judgement. God has His plans laid, He knows what He’s doing. Oh, if you want to be Godly, work at this matter of asking God to guide you so that you’ll be doing what He wants you to do and saying what He wants you to say, praying even what He wants you to pray.
Spirit, helpeth our infirmities for we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts- that’s God the Father- knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because He, that is the Spirit, maketh intercession for the saints according to the Will of God.
And John says that we know that if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us, and if He hear us, we know that we have the petition that we desired of Him. You put those two passages together and you’ve got the secret to answered prayer. Godliness is asking God the Holy Spirit to pray through you so you’ll be praying on the basis of the Will of God, and you’ll be getting an answer as a result. Godliness. Godliness. Oh, like he says, work at it.
Do you want to try to put that into practice in your life beginning now? Some of us need to do a right about face in this matter. We’ve been so self-conscious and so self-centered, and Godliness has not been very high on the priority list, has it?
Oh, beloved, how we need to seek Him so that He’ll direct us. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. Godliness. You know, that rubs off on other people. Little children don’t have organized impressions, but they are very sharp indeed. You don’t fool a little child for very long, I’ll tell you. And if you’re walking with the Lord, that little child will understand and know that God’s Presence is there in your life.
Godliness is not just piety, and Godliness is not just religious activity. Many a preacher, or a missionary, or a Christian worker has lost the confidence of his children because he was so busy being religious, that he didn’t have any chance to be Godly in his home. When you walk into that room, my friend, your children, your wife ought to feel God’s Presence. It doesn’t mean you’ll always go around looking gloomy or religious. No, no, no, no, that isn’t the point. You don’t always have to try to put on a spiritual-looking attitude. You can be a robust and wholesome human being. Of course, you can.
But oh, to be full of the Presence of God. That’s what I want, I’ll tell you. I want that more and more. I hope God lets me live long enough so I can know for sure that when I move into any situation, people feel His Presence. I just want to spill over the blessing and Presence of God. Godliness, it’s not something you put on, but you do work at it by spending time with Him, by listening to Him, by asking Him to direct you, and by depending on His Presence in your life. That means in your conversation, in your interaction with people, in your praying, in all that you do. Godliness.
Hey, that’s a big order, isn’t it? But it’s not impossible. Remember this beloved: God will never ask you to do something that He will not also enable you to do. And if our Heavenly Father has said something to you, beloved, today, about Godliness, you can be sure that He is also eager to help you and to enable you if you just spend a little time with Him. Take time to be holy, speak oft with Thy Lord, abide in Him only and feed on His Word. Take time to be holy. Godliness, work at it. Good idea? Yes, a very good idea.
Jesus, be honored and glorified in all that we do. Make us Godly people. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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